TERRIGNO v BUTZNER, 2021 ABCA 125
STREKAF, KHULLAR AND PENTELECHUK JJA
10.31: Court-ordered costs award
14.88: Cost awards
The self-represented Appellant was successful on Appeal and sought Costs from the Respondent under Schedule C of the Rules. Rule 14.88 provides that the successful party in an Appeal is entitled to a Costs Award against the unsuccessful party, unless otherwise ordered.
The Court noted that the primary purpose of a Costs Award is to partly indemnify the successful party for the Costs of litigation. However, a self-represented litigant does not incur any legal fees and thus, the ordinary objective of indemnification is not achieved. Rule 10.31(5) allows the Court to award Costs to encourage settlement, prevent frivolous, vexatious or harassing litigation, and can be used to encourage economy and efficiency.
The Court noted that awarding Costs to self-represented litigants may sometimes invert the usual objectives and an unrepresented litigant could potentially experience a windfall from a Costs Award. As such, a self-represented litigant should not generally receive Costs unless it would serve a specific policy reason. The Court awarded Costs to the self-represented Appellant in the amount of his disbursements and GST on those disbursements only.View CanLII Details